Decorah pulls away late, takes down Waverly-Shell Rock 30 to 7 on homecoming

Posted: Fri, Sep 27, 2019 10:50 PM
Decorah's Charles Robinson (75) finishes his sack of the Go-Hawks Ethan Flege (12) during the 4th quarter (story and photos by decorahnews.com's Dirk Umbanhowar)

The Decorah Viking football team came into the Homecoming game on Friday night looking to build on a dominating win the previous week at Crestwood. They did just that, with a dominating 30 to 7 win over arch rival Waverly Shell-Rock in Decorah, extending their win streak to two games following an 0-3 start to the season.

Senior running back Andrew Magner let it be known on the first play that the Decorah Vikings team we saw in Cresco last week is for real, taking the handoff 68 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown and giving the Vikings a 6-0 lead. Decorah would miss a two point attempt to keep the score at 6-0. After Waverly Shell-Rock's first drive went three and out, the Go-Hawks on their second possession drove the ball down to Decorah's three yard line. The Go-Hawks would fail to get into the end zone on the next four plays, with the drive stalling on a drop by Ryan Folkerts in the end zone. To the Go-Hawks' luck, Vikings quarterback Tucker Young would fumble on a QB sneak two plays later, giving Waverly-Shell Rock the ball at Decorah's 12-yard line. The Go-Hawks would go on to punch the ball into the end zone a few plays later on a 5-yard run by junior Jonathan Wessel, with the extra point giving Waverly-Shell Rock a 7 to 6 lead after one quarter of play.

However, the Waverly-Shell Rock lead would not last, as Tucker Young found tight end Dawson Palmer, who streaked down the sideline for a 54-yard touchdown.  The extra point gave Decorah a 13 to 7 lead.  The Vikings would go on to prevent Waverly from scoring the very next drive. After Go-Hawks wide out Tyler McNally got Waverly-Shell Rock deep into Decorah territory, kicker Andy Roose missed a 35-yard field goal try short and wide right. Decorah would proceed to go on a long drive of their own.  The key play to the drive was an offsides penalty on the Go-Hawks on a Decorah punt on 4th and 2, giving the Vikings a first down and putting their offense back out on the field.  A resulting 29-yard field goal by Gabriel Austin with less than a minute remaining in the half made the score 16 to 7 in favor of the Vikings at halftime.

The real turning point in the game occurred late in the third quarter. On a 4th and goal play from Decorah's two yard line, Waverly-Shell Rock quarterback Ethan Flege appeared to complete a fade route to tight end Tyler McNally for a touchdown. However, the referee ruled that McNally's left foot had hit the sideline and was out of bounds, therefore it was an incomplete pass and a turnover on downs.

A few plays later, Tucker Young found receiver Keaton Solberg open on the right side of the field for a 77-yard score with an extra point that made it 23 to 7, Decorah.  Solberg stopped to catch the ball before turning up the field, untouched during his touchdown run.

The fourth quarter also included key plays for the Vikings defense. First was another fourth down stop in Decorah territory, this time with the Viking defenders hitting Flege right as he threw to disrupt the pass. The second key play came on the next drive, when Keaton Solberg jumped in front of Flege's intended receiver for an interception. The key play on the drive was Tucker Young making the most of the high snap and finding Galen Iverson downfield at Waverly-Shell Rock's 8 yard line for a big third down conversion for the Vikings.  The Vikings would convert the final score of the game off the turnover on a one yard touchdown run with under 5 minutes to go in the contest. The extra point would make it 30 to 7 in favor of Decorah.

Second team players on both offense and defense saw playing time late, as the clock ran final on Decorah's 30 to 7 win.

The Vikings improved to 2-3 on the season, while Waverly-Shell Rock fell to 2-3. The Vikings' next game will be on Friday when they play host to Charles City, with a 7:30 kickoff time right here in Decorah.

Decorah's Gabriel Austin (20) watches his field goal attempt go through the uprights to give Decorah a 16 to 7 lead in the 2nd quarter
Decorah's Cael Luzum (2) cuts outside
Decorah's Matthew Frazen (87) engages with Waverly-Shell Rock tight end Layne McDonald (2) during the second half of action
Matthew Franzen (87) and Dawson Palmer (40) look on from the sidelines